Barney Haywood 2022-08-05T12:58:56+00:00

Salesforce Partner Case Study: Barney Haywood

Salesforce PartnerBarney Haywood started working with Salesforce Implementation over fifteen years ago after working on large-scale CRM projects with British Telecom. His illustrious career has involved working in the US and UK for large and boutique organisations such as Fujitsu, Barclays Wealth, roundCorner, PwC, Redkite, LiquidHub, and Capgemini.

In 2019 Barney launched Futureform, a Salesforce Partner, with fellow co-founder Brian Doogan. Futureform is an expert in the seamless and smart application of Salesforce, specifically for financial services. Barney is currently scaling the Futureform team with the help of the Resource on Demand. In this case study, he explains how and why.

Barney’s Experiences of Working With The Salesforce Ecosystem

Sharon: Thank you for giving me your time today, Barney. I know that people who will be reading, watching, and listening to this will get some real gems from what you can share about your experiences working in the Salesforce ecosystem and also working with Resource On Demand.

Before we get into that part of the conversation, could you give us a top-line overview of what is quite a long and illustrious career working within the Salesforce ecosystem?

Barney: Sure. Illustrious is a great word to describe it. I started with Salesforce implementation back in 2007. When I joined a boutique Salesforce consultancy, before that, I’d been working at British Telecom on a large-scale CRM implementation, where we had a team of around, I think, 400 or 500 consultants across business analysis, all the way through to deployment and ongoing support.

Then one of my former BT colleagues left and joined OKERE, and we met up for a couple of drinks; he then told me about his experiences and the value that the team at OKERE were delivering using a cloud-based platform called Salesforce.

He said it wasn’t that dissimilar to the value that we were bringing to the business with 400 people they were doing with a team of six or seven people.

I started with OKERE at ABN AMRO in their equity sales and research implementation, then moved to Deutsche Bank for Wealth and Asset Management, and then back to Barclays for some time. Then after those projects, I moved over to the US to help set up a non-profit Salesforce consulting partner.

In the US, non-profits are much larger and treated like enterprise implementation. From a CRM point of view, the alignment between wealth management and non-profit is very similar in terms of some of the concepts they have and how they treat their clients or donors.

That was a big change for me to move over there. It was good, really good, and it was my first time working on a particular product, so we were doing client implementations, but we were also building out a product that is now a core part of Salesforce’s NGO.

Sharon: So, it sounds then that your Salesforce career has very much been within the financial sector, building teams and managing huge projects.

What then led you to where you are today, with your consultancy Futureform?

Barney: Part of when I was still in the US, I left roundCorner and was at PWC for some time, and then reverted to a company called Redkite, founded by one of my good friends Brennan, based in the US.

He was also an ex-OKERE founder. I joined them primarily because my experience at PWC affirmed that I liked the smaller, more focused, and more nimble and agile consulting firms, where everyone does a bit of everything. The roles and responsibilities are shared between different individuals, and you’re not segmented into; you only do testing, and that’s all you do type of thing.

Redkite was acquired by a company called LiquidHub; I then moved back to the UK in 2016 to set up the European operation for LiquidHub, which we grew, where I first met my Futureform co-founder Brian Doogan. We developed that UK entity from just myself and Brian up to around 30 or 40 people within a couple of years.

Then the bigger LiquidHub entity was acquired by Capgemini, and then we stayed around; I think I was around for another year and a half at Capgemini. All that time, I was thinking in my mind, I wanted to go back to that nice smaller organisation where you had got focus teams of highly skilled individuals that deliver excellent projects and excellent experiences for their client, and that was the main driving reason behind Brian and I setting up Futureform in 2019.

Sharon: Fantastic. It sounds like that’s going from strength to strength as well.

Barney: Absolutely. Yes. Some may have thought that setting up just before the pandemic would not necessarily be a great thing, but we were founded in August 2019 and carried on. It was just myself and Brian initially.

We had enough clients to keep us going through that first year, and then we started to make our first hires at the end of 2020, and we’ve grown now from the initial three people at the end of 2020 to fifteen people by the middle of February.

The growth is very good. It’s great to show that Brian and I put something together resonating with our clients, Salesforce, and people who want to join our organisation.

What Has Been Your Experience of Working With Recruitment Companies and ROD?

Sharon: So, there’s been a real focus on the recruitment within Futureform right now, but going back over your career, you have built many teams.

What has generally been your experience working with recruitment companies before talking about ROD?

Barney: Yes, I think my main experience until I set up the UK entity for LiquidHub, was that I had been brought in to interview somebody suggested by one of the recruiters we were working with.

As part of the setup for LiquidHub UK, we specifically chose a smaller boutique recruitment firm. Then we specifically chose to work with just ROD for Futureform rather than one of the larger organisations because we felt there was more alignment between their size and our relative size at that point in time.

ROD was very flexible when Brian and I were first starting up to bring people in, in the right way with varying contracts in terms of conditions. This reflected where we were in our business journey and where we both felt we would get to.

Sharon: I guess one of the reasons why you chose ROD in the early days with Futureform is their flexibility. Having worked with them for some time now, what are the other parts of how the team operates that you value?

Barney: Hopefully, it’s similar to the benefits we bring to our clients in that Resource on Demand understand what we want. They do spend a lot of time evaluating and getting into details with potential candidates before deciding whether they want to introduce them to us, and that’s not just on this person has certain certifications or has worked in this particular organisation. It’s very much, do they match with the Futureform ethic, do they match their approach to Salesforce projects?

Will they be the right culture and personally fit into that team? I genuinely appreciate that there are very few people that ROD will put forward to us that we don’t take to an interview stage, which is exceptional for me.

Because in the past, you would be sent a set of CVs which you have got to troll through them, screen them, and so on. With the Resource on Demand process, we get a good summary and a nice idea of who they are; then, we’ll have a regular conversation with Callum and the team about who they are and why they thought they would be a good fit.

It’s worked out really, really well as we’ve grown and continued to grow; they get a sense of what personalities we need. They’re always on the lookout for individuals that we may not specifically need now, but they’re aware that we will need them based on our growth and expansion at some point in the future.

We deal directly with the person screening the candidate and sending them through to us. Where I’ve worked in the past, you may have multiple more junior employees sending over CVs for you to look through.

With ROD, we have a very strong relationship with Callum, who will specifically say they’re not the right fit, or this would be a great fit, we should send them over.

It’s that personal relationship.

We’re very open and honest with them, and they’re very open and honest with us as well. There’s a good trusting relationship.

Sharon: By having that close relationship, they understand how the business and your needs evolve.

Barney: Yes. They can make a more informed choice. We spend time with the ROD team when they bring in new hires that are going out and sourcing candidates; we’ll spend half an hour, an hour giving them the Salesforce plus Futureform presentation, talk about what we do, talk about our industry templates, and so on, and provide them with a feeling of who our people are and where we want to go, and the kind of people that we are as well.

Sharon: As a business owner looking to grow a team right now, how are you finding the candidate market at the moment. Salesforce, it’s just growing exponentially, isn’t it still?

Barney: Yes. It always has been, but certainly, at the moment, there’s a lot of churn, with a lot of people moving around. Certainly, you see, once a larger firm acquires a smaller firm after a while, there’s that churn of people moving on, where they feel that it’s not necessarily where they wanted to be; it wasn’t their intent to go and work for the big consulting firms.

After some time, people will start to move around. There seem to be people moving from industry into Salesforce consulting as well.

We like to be quick and efficient with our interview and screening processes to make sure that we’re not holding people up in terms of deciding, and they’re also able to get hold of people when they do become available.

Sharon: How do you find or have found Callum and Lee and their input about candidates balanced on what you are looking for?

Barney: It’s really, really useful, actually. The fact that they have been our sole recruiter means they know everyone that’s come on to the Futureform team. We’re always giving them updates as to how good we find somebody or our experiences with a team member, the personalities and traits that we look for, and we can refer to specific examples.

They’ll say, this person is like such and such, or they’ve got this kind of experience, which you will have seen with this other person and so on. It’s very, very useful from that side.

Lee introduced us to apprentices. We have two currently going through a program with us. We’re looking for more to come, probably later this year as well. Again, that will be a great way to start bringing in more junior Salesforce people that we can train up.

As you say, the competition for fully certified and skilled consultants will only get more and more competitive.

Sharon: Yes, it is. How do Salesforce and also the ecosystem itself, what can they do to start attracting other candidates, maybe from other technologies, into the system? Apprenticeships are another route for many people.

Barney: Yes, absolutely. I’d be interested to see not necessarily a specific degree or A level or GCSE, but specific training for people or a course component at a university or something else around Salesforce. Tying to how they could start training up people, they are ready to go into that market once they’ve left education.

With the apprentices, a lot of the benefit is that when their friends finish university, these guys will have several years’ experience ahead of them. They’ll have been earning money for some time, and they won’t be paying any university fees back.

I think that’s a choice that more and more people are going to make, certainly with university costing so much, whether it’s worthwhile going or whether you’re better off moving into more of a vocational apprenticeship type model.

Sharon: I’d be interested in knowing your thoughts on the educational piece related to certifications. It is a huge investment, time as well, versus experience, perhaps where people are working on major projects where they are time short, and maybe certifications lapse. Do you go for the certs or experience; How do you manage that?

Barney: It’s interesting because actually, a more junior person with a large number of trailhead points and badges and certifications is often very impressive and shows a degree of commitment to moving into the Salesforce market, or it might be somebody with just a couple of years of experience. We may look at them very favourably because obviously, they’re doing this study outside of their normal working hours.

You would expect somebody to have a certain number of certifications for a more senior role, not necessarily a CTA or the more senior certifications. Still, you would certainly expect them to have the core set. If they don’t, then there may be good reasons why.

If somebody came to us with no certs and took them on, we would expect them to complete a pretty aggressive number within a predefined time period. That is part of our go-to-market strategy, as part of our USP is that the team are certified experts. We know what we’re doing; we’ve worked with the product a lot.

The best way for us to demonstrate that is through certifications. Those are broadening out beyond the classic sales and service cloud and others. There will now be certified professionals, like the financial services cloud, which our team will be going through this year.

Sharon: Is that something you support people to go through as a business?

Barney: Yes, 100%. We’ll either source vouchers from Salesforce or pay for people to do their certifications. Absolutely.

Working Closely With Resource on Demand What Makes Them Stand Out?

Sharon: Fantastic. Regarding anything else that you think about, from your experience of working so closely with ROD more recently, are there any other things that make them stand out as a specialist recruiter in this niche?

Barney: The length of experience that the founders have in the Salesforce market, they know many individuals in the market. They’ve either placed them before, or they’ve worked with them before, or they’ve had conversations with them before. They’re able to keep tabs on people who may be coming up to a point where they think they want to move on in their careers.

I’m assuming they’re having lots of conversations with potential candidates about us, but just keeping them warmed up and slowly moving them along the path to an introduction to Futureform.

That knowledge and specialisation they have within the Salesforce vertical stands out for us.

It’s that personal touch of we know their team, we get on with them very, very well, we have very regular touchpoints. It’s that which I don’t think we necessarily get from a larger recruitment company. That may be because we’re more aligned in terms of their ethics and their working approach, which was a very deliberate and specific decision on our part.

Sharon: What would you say to someone in the ecosystem who is considering where their next step is, what they do, and perhaps is looking for some advice. What would you say to them as a candidate?

Barney: I think we’ll often have people come to us who aren’t from financial services or don’t have a financial services background. Our key response is it’s less about the industry. It’s more about your aptitude and being able to demonstrate how you’d engage with clients.
How you would engage with people, how you’d work within the team, how you’re able to build relationships, and start making your presence within a team, given most people will be working remotely for the foreseeable future.

Certainly, from our point of view, we’re going to be 100% remote; it is being able to demonstrate those points of aptitude and attitude. If you are looking to move from one sector into another, or if you are looking to move from industry into financial services consulting, then I recommend doing the trailheads and the badges around the financial services cloud, so you understand some of the terminologies. Then that shows that you’re invested and showing keenness before being introduced to a partner like us.

That would apply to other types of work, construction, or if you’re working in a recruitment-focused organisation, then yes. It’s showing interest, showing keenness, and demonstrating that you’re willing to put the investment in before moving over to the company.

Sharon: I think when candidates have a conversation where they’re looking for some guidance like that, talking to one of the ROD team, because they have the kind of relationships that you’ve described, I guess what that allows them to do is guide people along the lines of what would work for Futureform.

Barney: The first conversation is an initial one either from myself, Brian or from Tom, our head of delivery, where we’ll have an informal, friendly chat about where the person is, what they’re looking to do, where their career is.

One of the key things is that somebody needs to be willing to deal with ambiguity in their role. Ambiguity in terms of the things they need to do, they need to be ready to chip in and help out where possible, which, for me, is the big reason for starting a boutique consultancy is that you can get involved in everything from marketing, pre-sales, and delivery and whatever else you want to do.

Sharon: Yes, fantastic. Suppose there was another business owner or manager in an organisation who finds themselves looking for talent in a bit of a challenging market right now. What would you say to them: Perhaps why get in touch with the team at Resource On Demand?

Barney: I would say they genuinely spend the time and put in the effort to really understand our organisation. They’re not, or they certainly haven’t been a high-pressure sales organisation for us. As we talked about before, with the competition for candidates, they won’t get us into a bidding contest for somebody.

They won’t push us down a particular path for a candidate just because that person says they’ve got another offer on the table. They’ll be very open and honest with us. As an individual, I’ve never really liked the traditional sales process of any organisation.

ROD fits very well in this way. It feels very consultative, constructive, and helpful. It feels very much like they’re going to help us with our strategy, rather than pushing people to us just because they’ve got a certain number to hit. That’s genuinely why I would go with Lee and the team from ROD.

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